The Plant Native

Blue Mistflower

Highlights

At the end of the summer, pollinators need food to help their migration journeys or to help get ready for hibernation. Enter late-blooming native plants, like Blue Mistflower. Blue Mistflower has clumps of tiny pom-pom flowers in the late summer/fall. They like sun to part sun and get tall: 3-4 feet. Blue Mistflower can spread quickly, but keeping it under control in the spring helps control its spread. Read how to plant Blue Mistflower, below.

Sun – Part Sun
3-6′ tall
Flowers in the fall
Conoclinium coelestinum
Blue Mistflower's flowers look like they have tiny eyelashes in the fall

Dig Deeper

Explore the history, types, and where to plant native Blue Mistflower

Table of Contents

Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum) is a fall-blooming native plant that is easy to grow and can quickly fill in an area after a season or two thanks to its ability to quickly spread.

Why is it important to plant native plants like Blue Mistflower?

Planting native plants makes our yards and spaces gorgeous while helping the birds, butterflies, and animals (and helping save us time!) Here are three reasons why planting native is worth it:

  1. Without native plants, iconic animals like Monarch butterflies and songbirds won’t have the food or homes needed to survive
  2. Native plants save time and money: after the first year of getting established, native plants like Blue Mistflower are happy with rain
  3. Native plants are gorgeous! Blue Mistflower is a perfect example of how beautiful and resilient native plants are—they are always the best choice for our gardens.

Blue Mistflower is a butterfly favorite

Blue Mistflower blooms at the end of the season, normally in September through October. This is a crucial time for butterflies. 

During this time, monarch butterflies are migrating back to Mexico and need lots of food to make this incredible journey. Planting native flowers that bloom in the fall is crucial to helping them survive. 

Plant Blue Mistflower with other fall-blooming native flowers to ensure your garden is filled with butterflies and they have food in the fall. Plant Blue Mistflower alongside fall bloomers like native asters.

Blue Mistflower gives nectar to butterflies in the fall, when many flowers are no longer in bloom
Blue Mistflower's range - Map from USDA

Where is Blue Mistflower native?

Blue Mistflower is native to 50% of the United States, from New York to Texas.

Is Blue Mistflower invasive?

Blue Mistflower spreads quickly—plant it one season and it will come back the next doubled in size. Because it spreads so quickly, many gardeners consider it aggressive—which is a term for plants that expand their footprint rapidly.

Sometimes Blue Mistflower’s fast-spreading ability is an asset

Not all “aggressive” plants are bad—sometimes a fast-spreading ability is a good thing! If you have a large area you want to cover with pollinator-friendly plants, a fast-spreading native flower like Blue Mistflower is worth considering.

Fast-spreading native plants can quickly fill out large expanses—perfect if you have a big area to cover like a field or a large statement garden. Other fast-growing native flowers to consider for larger spaces include asters, Little Bluestem, Nodding Onion, Mountain Mint, Bee Balm, and Hummingbird Mint.

A field full of Blue Mistflower is pollinator heaven

How to stop Blue Mistflower’s spread

On the other hand, if you have a smaller space and want to plant Blue Mistflower, it will take some work to ensure it doesn’t take over and push other native plants out. To keep Blue Mistflower in check:

  1. Dig up the plant when it emerges in the spring
  2. Divide it in half (give it away to neighbors or plant in another spot in the garden!)

Other blue native plants

The color blue is a striking one to add to the garden—it’s also a rare color to find in plants. If you’re looking for other blue flowers, plant native asters, Blue-Eyed Grass and False Blue Indigo

Blue native plants

Choosing plants via color is a fun (and easy!) way to landscape. Our Three-Color Native Garden guide gives inspiration on what else to plant, based on color.

What to plant with Blue Mistflower

Pair Blue Mistflower with native flowers that bloom from spring to fall, so pollinators always have something to eat. Here are some seasonal native pairings:

Native flowers for the spring

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Creeping Phlox

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False Blue Indigo

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Golden Alexander

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Red Columbine

Native flowers for the summer

Other native flowers for the fall

Blue Mistflower is a late-blooming native flower that is crucial for pollinators at the end of the season. It expands quickly, so give it room to grow or plan on digging some up in the spring to keep it from overtaking the garden. Happy native planting!

UPDATED —
02/19/2024
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